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help and advice would be appreciated - accused of benefit fraud - ** NOT being prosecuted :) **


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in December i was called in for a IUC regarding income support and h/b.

 

i went with a lawyer who told me to tell the truth.

so i went in and it was in regards to a partner living with me (kids father).

 

i agreed that he had maybe stayed more then what he should have (since july 2012)

but i didn't class him as living with me as i received no money for bills, food etc, a

nd we where trying very hard to start over again.

they told me that didnt matter and even if a family member stayed with me for 1 night i should tell them :o

 

There evidence was a copy of my daughters birth certificate, an application form he had filled out (which had my address on it but he hadn't put c/o) and his Facebook account where he had listed me as his partner and my sister as his sister in law (this was done about6 years ago and he never changed it)

 

at the end of the interview i was told i either moved him in or kicked him out. he was never living here to begin with so i didn't think anything of it and carried on my usual business.

 

on march the 23rd i received a letter that said all my money was being stopped (as from 21/03/13) as i had been found to be living with a partner. this stressed me out and made me feel so sick that i couldnt eat, sleep or properly function. i was scared that he couldnt come round and in the end i told him he either moves in with me and we just try with everything we have or he leaves completely. he then moved in officially from the 29th march (good Friday - i figured that was a good sign).

 

i went to see a new solicitor and he said we should fight against this as he wasn't living with me but to be honest i cant be bothered anymore. its making me ill. i would much rather just pay it back if thats what i have to do. the solicitor has sent me a contract that says he charges £100 an hour :!::jaw::!: theres no way i can afford that. so where do i go from here? is there any point in fighting it? whats the chances of phoning the social and asking if i can repay back without the unnecessary need for court?

 

thanks for looking and hopefully advising me, you all seem like a helpful bunch going by other posters problems :fear:

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Where has he been living? Is he registered as resident somewhere else for council tax purposes? Does he pay rent and bills elsewhere? If the answer to the last two questions is no, I would say you have little chance of convincing someone he hasn't been at your place sufficiently to count as living there. In that case I would just put your hands up, say you didn't realise that he'd counted as living there and agree to pay the overpayment back and an agreed affordable level. It's a shame that with the 3 months warning, things hadn't changed.

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whats the chances of phoning the social and asking if i can repay back without the unnecessary need for court?

 

That's not how it works I'm afraid.

If a case is deemed suitable for prosecution, starting to pay back the overpayment will not stop the legal action. It does look better in court though.

 

If you disagree with the decision you need to appeal against it, within 1 month of the decision being made.

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thanks, he wasn't living with me, he was at his mums so his bank statements, tax, work related matters all went there, he doesn't have a rent tenancy because obviously its his mums house so he would have just paid her.

 

i dont know what to do i did admit that he was here more often then not,i just didnt class him as living with me :( im just so stressed and upset at the whole thought, i never thought i was doing anything wrong.

 

is it me that appeals or is it the solicitor. am i amble to appeal even though i said yes he was with me?

 

what do you mean by the 3 months warning abc? do you mean the 3 months after the IUC berfore the letter? i had spoke to CAB and they said i would be fine i wasnt doing anything wrong and that i was aloud to have a relationship whilst on benefits. shame it doesn't seem to be the case :(

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  • 2 weeks later...
That's not how it works I'm afraid.

If a case is deemed suitable for prosecution, starting to pay back the overpayment will not stop the legal action. It does look better in court though.

 

If you disagree with the decision you need to appeal against it, within 1 month of the decision being made.

 

thanks jabba i received a letter at the beginning of the week telling me how much i owe the income support, although their date is wrong - housing beneft has not even started yet :/ i take it this is the next step in the system.

 

if it goes to court (which it prob will ) is it two separate cases or does the HB and IS get put together.?

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HB wait for the DWP decision before they make theres. You may receive a letter soon giving you the opportunity to supply them with your "partners" earning for the period of HB they are looking at. This is to check if you would qualify through low income instead of being IRO benefit.

 

If after all that there are still 2 separate overpayments & if both the DWP & LA deem the case suitable for prosecution then normally they would look to prosecute together. Sometimes one will pull out or if the LA are dragging their feet the CPS may force the DWP to go it alone, but its difficult to say exactly what will happen. From talking to my ex FIS colleagues the current mantra that is being drummed into them by their solicitors appears to be "each case on its own merits".

 

You say the Income Support dates are wrong? As these are also the dates the LA will be using you really need to consider appealing ASAP.

Edited by jabba jones
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Hi,

 

Is his mum on her own, or living with someone? If she is single, but was not claiming the single person's allowance because your partner was there, then that could be one point to show why he didn't think he was living with you.

 

DD

Edited by Desperate Daniella
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Is his mum on her own, or living with someone? If she is single, but was not claiming the single person's allowance because your partner was there, then then that could one point to show why he didn't think he was living with you.

It's a good point & the investigators should have checked it already as where the SPD has been claimed (as it often is) it's good evidence for them as well!

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HB wait for the DWP decision before they make theres. You may receive a letter soon giving you the opportunity to supply them with your "partners" earning for the period of HB they are looking at. This is to check if you would qualify through low income instead of being IRO benefit.

 

If after all that there are still 2 separate overpayments & if both the DWP & LA deem the case suitable for prosecution then normally they would look to prosecute together. Sometimes one will pull out or if the LA are dragging their feet the CPS may force the DWP to go it alone, but its difficult to say exactly what will happen. From talking to my ex FIS colleagues the current mantra that is being drummed into them by their solicitors appears to be "each case on its own merits".

 

You say the Income Support dates are wrong? As these are also the dates the LA will be using you really need to consider appealing ASAP.

 

 

yep got the post tonight and there was the letter from HB wanting "partners income details from 1st july 2012 i.e five conssecutiveweekly or two monthly payslips whichever is applicable and also copies of three months banks statements and any other income applicable"

However he was not working form July 2012 until October 2012 so im not sure what to do there. im sure his bank statements would show he was on JSA at the time.

 

the letter that i am talking about with the wrong date on is from the debt center stating that i owe £2393.71. it says the period of overpayment is from 01/07/2012 - 21/02/2013. thats a whole month out (it was 21/03/2013)

 

As fo appealing im not sure i have time left :( the original letter that states i was reassessed as found living with him has been dated the 28/03/2013

 

im so confused as to what i appeal, what i should pay, what i should submit

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Hi,

 

Is his mum on her own, or living with someone? If she is single, but was not claiming the single person's allowance because your partner was there, then that could be one point to show why he didn't think he was living with you.

 

DD

 

his mum doesnt claim anything from anywhere. she lives with his dad and they own their house so he was in their spare room :/

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If he was on JSA and your on IS have the DWP been involved because they should reassess you as a couple and award JSA which would mean no O/P for that period fo JSA/IS in payment.

 

The investigator should have checked CIS as part of the investigation once they had his name and/or conducted an HMRC check for employment.

 

Write to them and tell them he was on JSA and to check CIS as this should back that up, they will just need his NINO which I presume they already have?

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If he was on JSA and your on IS have the DWP been involved because they should reassess you as a couple and award JSA which would mean no O/P for that period fo JSA/IS in payment.

 

The investigator should have checked CIS as part of the investigation once they had his name and/or conducted an HMRC check for employment.

 

Write to them and tell them he was on JSA and to check CIS as this should back that up, they will just need his NINO which I presume they already have?

 

 

sorry what is CIS? im not sure what that means, but since i used the same office as him i would have thought they would have looked at that :/ prob not though so i will ask them that. would i have to provide anything else?

 

so the overpayment could be less? possibly from October instead of July? i know i was stupid and naive, i suppose ill know better for if there's ever a next time (here`s hoping i will not be back on benefits ever again)

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Sorry CIS is the DWP computer database that local authorities have access to it show what benefits are payment and if tax credits have been awarded.

 

They should already be aware of any and all income your partner received for that period via the checks and possible EQ1/QB9 to any identified employer. Did they show you any proof of earnings at the interview?

 

If he has no earnings then they will or should offer underlying entitlement based on your IS or joint JSA claim and if passported as I suspect either one would be this would offset and nulll the overpayment for the period this was paid for so yes any overpayment should in theory start in October if he stopped claiming JSA and started work, however if on a low income, the same would happen, they should reassess based on the income and again offset the overpayment againts any underlying entitlement.

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Sorry CIS is the DWP computer database that local authorities have access to it show what benefits are payment and if tax credits have been awarded.

 

They should already be aware of any and all income your partner received for that period via the checks and possible EQ1/QB9 to any identified employer. Did they show you any proof of earnings at the interview?

 

If he has no earnings then they will or should offer underlying entitlement based on your IS or joint JSA claim and if passported as I suspect either one would be this would offset and nulll the overpayment for the period this was paid for so yes any overpayment should in theory start in October if he stopped claiming JSA and started work, however if on a low income, the same would happen, they should reassess based on the income and again offset the overpayment againts any underlying entitlement.

 

thanks :) im not sure how to put that in writing but i will try and see someone in the advice center tomorrow and explain what you have said, maybe they can help me word it :) thank you for taking the time to explain to me :)

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Is he on the Electoral Roll at his parents' address?

 

yep everything was registered there, as i said he hadnt properly moved in with me we where just trying to make a go of things slowly, now we have been forced together (could work out ok). the only thing he used my address for was a couple of application forms where he had always put c/o but didnt on one of them and thats what they brought me in on. they havent called for him at all (i dont know if they would have?)

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You need as much evidence as you can get that he was not living with you and thought of his home as being at his parents.

 

thank you, theres so much to do and so much going on that im getting easily confused. im going to the advice shop today will speak to them about the things you have told me :) thank you

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  • 5 months later...

just wanted to update you all and ask for a little more advice.

 

i got a overpayment letter from income support saying i owe them £2300, the housing benefit has worked out to about the same amount. im paying both off monthly at £40 each a month.

 

i have applied for a job in the healthcare section. on the form it wants to know if i have been cautioned or charged with anything. am i right in putting down the caution? i cant really say i have been charged if i haven't been to court?

 

Also how long is it before you find out about if your going to court or not? they made their decision back in march that i wasnt entitled to it.

 

thank you :)

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